Installing an SSD boot drive on an Early-2009 Mac Pro?


New member
Apr 10, 2017
Visit site
Hello all,

I have an early-2009 Mac Pro tower and would like to install an SSD to speed up the running of it.

At the moment, my boot drive is the 640GB HD that came with the Mac (I have a couple of other drives in there for file storage too), and my Mac is getting very slow and frustrating these days, so I thought I'd back everything up and do a fresh install of El Capitan, but then saw a great article on here about using an SSD for the boot drive instead to speed up this ageing Mac considerably. (

I have gathered that a PCIe SSD would be better and faster than a SATA SSD that goes into one of the drive bays, and have been looking into this but am unsure about which type of PCI cars would fit in there.

I've seen some that are quite long and have the connectors on the end (, so I'm guessing this wouldn't fit into the space inside the Mac, and I'd need one with the connectors on the side? (

Is one an M.2 and if so, can I use an M.2 or do I need an adapter, or just find one with side-connectors, and is that called a different thing?

I've seen a few PCIe cards for sale on sites like Amazon but some come with an adapter, and I'm not sure what it is or what it does, or whether I need it! (

Also, if I install El Capitan onto this PCIe SSD, would it then be bootable? I've read differing opinions on that, regarding drivers and stuff that's gone a bit over my head I'm afraid!

Lastly, what sort of size SSD would I need to accommodate the OS plus a few high-intensity apps like Photoshop/AfterEffects, which I use a lot and are the most frustratingly slow apps? Is 250Gb enough, or overkill? I'd still use the existing HD for all the file storage etc - it just wouldn't be the system drive anymore.

Hope you can point me in the right direction! I'm usually pretty good at this sort of thing but this is baffling me somewhat! I've tried reading a few forums but am getting nowhere, quite frankly......

Any help would be gratefully received!




Trusted Member
Nov 8, 2012
Visit site
How much performance gain are you trying to get?

Simply swapping the spinning drive for a 120GB SATA SSD made a world of difference for me.

Trending Posts

Members online

No members online now.

Forum statistics

Latest member